by Scott Reintgen
Young Emmett certainly isn’t one of the winner in the lottery of life. His mother is very ill, his father works himself tired to provide for his family and pay the medical bills. So when Emmet it approached by Babel, a powerful corporation, and is offered money beyond his wildest dreams, and the chance to change his family’s long dark history, he jumps at the opportunity, even through there are signs that Babel is hiding important information. Stuck on a spaceship with other boys and girls just like him, they are forced to fight for points. In the end, only eight of them will go to the planet Eden and change their fates, the other two are to be send back home as losers. But as the days pass, he can’t help to question Babel’s intentions and hidden agenda. Something isn’t quite like it should.
Nyxia is a fast paced, action-filled novel that captures your attention from the first line. It draws you in and it’s hard to let go. The cast is by far the most ethnically diverse I’ve seen in YA, and I love how it features people from all around the world. I also think the author has done a great job at incorporating the different cultures in a way that feel real. Each character has a depth to them that is rare in a book with so many different characters.
In the beginning, it was a bit hard to keep up with all the characters and I found myself struggling a bit with keeping the names apart. But after a while each and every character pulled away from the “blur of names” and became actual people. I started to get to know them together with Emmett. There were a few times I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to some of the characters through since there could be entire chapters without any mention of someone. In particular, I remember one chapter where there wasn’t a single mention of Isadora.
There is a lot of twists and turns to this story and you never quite know what to expect, and this is a good thing. It keeps the suspense high and the pages turning. The only part I didn’t enjoy in this book was that odd Interlude that was placed in the middle. I couldn’t really see a difference in the voice of that part and the voice of the rest, and it was a struggle to remember that we were in Defoes head at that point. I still can’t really see the point to that scene.
The ending was perhaps not as satisfactory as I would have liked. It felt like there were so much I still wanted to know, so many things left unresolved. I realize it’s building up for a sequel, but I still feel left hanging somewhat. And the actual ending itself was very expected in its “unexpectedness” (if anyone understands what I mean by that)
Overall, this book was a great read, and a superb debut for Scott Reintgen. The writing was stellar, the plot unique, the characters well developed etc. There isn’t much that would take away from a five star review here, but still, there is something about it that I can’t fully put my finger on. It was a good book, it was even great, but I don’t feel overly excited about it, I’m not dying to read the sequel etc. So therefore, I’ll bring it down to four stars.
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